Looking for A Suitable Partner

Recently, a wave of "You Who Came From The Stars" (a South Korean drama series) has swept across the whole of Asia, and become the talk of the town. Apart from increasing the popularity of the two frontline South Korean stars, the drama also pushed its cooperative brand to the very center of public attention. Although its success is arguably the result of meticulous production of the script, the crew, and the actors, what you cannot neglect is their promotional activities and publicity strategy.

No matter if it is a sponsorship or a product placement, different handling would have brought very different effects. Besides its own success factors, the rocketing fame of the "You Who Came From The Stars" is also attributable to its cooperation with suitable brands, which brings a win-win situation to the drama series and those brands. Take a mobile SMS app as an example, which the protagonists in the drama used to send messages to each other. The scenes of the drunk actress sending SMSs and in-app "stickers" to the actor, and the actor's SMS replies expressing his love to the actress, are great examples of successful product placement seamlessly integrating with the storyline, generating buzz instead of rejection.


The real success of this app lies not only in its ingenious integration with the plot, but in its promotional activities leveraging the buzz to market itself. All these also continue to add to the heat of the drama as well. During the show, a series of tailor-made "in-app stickers" have been released based on the drama story and the acting roles. They were presented for fun for users to download. As the drama approached its finale, the app held an in-app user public voting activity, through which the users could select their preferred ending. It was the brand's successive and closely integrated activities that brought this huge success, and which was demonstrated by its download ranking in app stores. According to Korea's Yonhap News Agency, the app started the product placement from episode 10 at which point the app ranked about 80th. By the end of the drama when the story reached its peak, its ranking soared to the top 10 in various mobile phone app stores.

This shows, for brand cooperation to shine, its own popularity is important, but with a suitable promotion strategy, it can become a trend-setting phenomenon and take the brand to another level. And there is the win-win situation!


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